Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi: Lampard appointment helped contract decisionby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCallum Hudson-Odoi says Frank Lampard’s appointment gave him an “extra boost” towards signing a new contract with Chelsea.The 18-year-old signed a new five-year contract on Thursday after over a year of negotiations.And Hudson-Odoi has credited Lampard’s presence will helping him decide his long-term future.”I’ve been thinking for a while what it would be like to be playing for Chelsea for the next five years and how everything might go, especially now Frank is here as the manager. “It’s a great feeling for all of us because we know he gives everybody a chance if you’re playing well and working hard.”He’s a very good manager. I can tell that by what he’s trying to do and the things he’s trying to implement into our football. He has the mentality of winning, which we all want and we all need, so him coming in was just an extra boost for me.”He’s already given me confidence, having a chat with me here and there, and it’s great when a manager has faith in you. I’m delighted he’s here and I’m looking forward to working more with him.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
N’Golo Kante scored his third goal of the season to earn Chelsea a deserved 1-0 win at Crystal Palace that moves the Blues five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.David Luiz provided a rare assist from open play to allow Kante an opportunity that he pounced upon before scoring a goal that trebles his previous best tally in a Premier League season.Palace went into the game seeking to extend a three-match unbeaten streak that included a famous win over Manchester City before Christmas, but they struggled to prise the ball away from a Chelsea side determined to avoid a repeat of their Selhurst Park defeat last season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The result left Roy Hodgson’s men just five points clear of the relegation zone, while fourth-placed Chelsea pulled away from Arsenal, who lost heavily at Liverpool on Saturday.As cool as you like! #CRYCHE pic.twitter.com/ImqI3iBN3I— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 30, 2018Antonio Rudiger headed tamely into the arms of Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita before Kante sent a more forceful shot wide as Chelsea enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges.Olivier Giroud had the ball in the net after 27 minutes, lashing home from a tight angle only to see an offside flag raised against him.The best attempt of the first half came from Willian, whose wickedly curling free-kick from 25 yards was saved by Guaita at full stretch just moments before the goalkeeper denied the Brazilian again when he tried a low drive.The deadlock was broken after 51 minutes when David Luiz’s exquisite chipped ball into the box was controlled instinctively on the chest by the on-rushing Kante, who then applied a low, left-footed finish that sneaked past Guaita despite the keeper getting a hand to it.Guaita made another save from Willian, denying the winger when Hazard played him in for a shot, before another unfortunate moment for Giroud, who twisted his ankle in the process of scoring another goal that was ruled out by the assistant referee’s flag.The Frenchman limped off and was replaced by Alvaro Morata as Chelsea saw out the closing stages of a comfortable victory without any real threat of a Palace comeback.What does it mean? Leicester was just a blipChelsea’s 1-0 home defeat to Leicester City left Blues fans concerned about inconsistency under Maurizio Sarri, but this was a consummate away performance from a side with a strong gameplan and plenty of confidence.Kante has it allNot content with being the driving force in the engine room of Chelsea’s midfield, Kante is making a habit of spotting gaps in opposition defences and proved he is adapting to his more advanced role this season with a worthy match-winning goal.Tough afternoon for unlucky GiroudAfter twice putting the ball in the net and twice having very close offside decisions go against him, Giroud hobbled off with a painful looking ankle injury.Key Opta stats- Chelsea picked up their first win in an away league London derby since August 2017 (2-1 vs Spurs), ending a run of five without victory (L3 D2).- Crystal Palace failed to record a single shot on target in a Premier League home game for the first time since March 2017 vs Watford.- Chelsea have won three consecutive Premier League away games for the first time under Maurizio Sarri, last doing so in April under Antonio Conte.- Only Tottenham (9) and Liverpool (8) have won more away Premier League games this season than Chelsea (7).3 – N’Golo Kante has scored three goals in 20 Premier League games this season – his best goal return in a single season in the top five European leagues. Reinvented. #CRYCHE pic.twitter.com/tXYgzCivR6— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 30, 2018What’s next?The Blues will hope to make amends for their home defeat to Leicester when they entertain Southampton on Wednesday, while Palace seek to resume their mid-December form at Wolves. read more
Maurizio Sarri says that he would change Chelsea’s policy of offering over-30 players one-year deals if he were in charge of contracts at the club.Chelsea face losing Cesc Fabregas to Monaco in the transfer window due to their inability to offer more than a one-year contract to the 31-year-old, as the Ligue 1 club prepare to offer him two-and-a-half years.The length of a contract is key for many players over 30 but Chelsea’s policy dictates that players over this age are only allowed to be offered one-year contracts. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? David Luiz is also in the same situation as Fabregas, with his contract expiring at the end of this season, and his future is not secured despite his starring role in defence. Sarri says that if he owned Chelsea, he would judge it on a case-by-case basis.”I haven’t a club so my opinion is not important. My opinion is it depends on the situation, I think. The situation is not the same for every player over 30 so its my opinion,” Sarri told reporters at Cobham Training Centre.”If you are able to buy Chelsea we can discuss [changing it].”Sarri had earlier spoken about how he will allow Fabregas to leave, as he doesn’t want unhappy players in his dressing room, but that the deal isn’t yet complete to see the former Arsenal man move to join up with his former team-mate Thierry Henry.Chelsea now prepare to face Tottenham in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and the game at Wembley Stadium may bring back memories of the Blues’ worst defeat of the season. Spurs ran out 3-1 winners in the Premier League match back in November, dominating Chelsea throughout.”After the match in the Premier League I realised the real situation so, of course, now this match is more important. I saw my players in the dressing room after the match,” Sarri added. “They were destroyed so I realised that the match against Tottenham is a very important match for the club, the fans and the players as well.”They needed only to realise why the match was so bad and it was really very easy because the video of the first 15 minutes was clear. There was a big different in mentality, aggressiveness and determination, so it was clear.”Clear for me and also for the players. The match was really strange I think because it was a match after the international break and probably we were not able to arrive to the match with the right mentality and focus. It can happen but now we need to play another match.“Here everything is really very difficult. If you think in the League Cup we played against Liverpool, now we have to play Tottenham. In an eventual final probably against Manchester City. It is like playing in the Champions League I think for the League Cup.”So here everything is really, really very difficult. The level of opponent is a really high level. The level of determination is now good, but we have to solve some problems of course. Sometimes during the match we were not able to have the right reaction to the difficulties to negative situation.”In the last match we were not able to have the right reaction to a positive situation because after the second goal we conceded four shots on goal in two minutes. So we need to learn that we cannot lower the application in the defensive phase.”Like Sarri, Mauricio Pochettino is regarded as one of the world’s best coaches, but the duo are both yet to win major honours as managers.In fact, Tottenham have not won a major honour for a decade and Pochettino’s side are now desperate to take advantage of their best team in a generation by winning silverware. The upcoming semi-final will offer a great opportunity for silverware for those involved and Sarri thinks that Pochettino could do with capitalising.”I agree [that he needs to win something] because he is a very good coach,” Sarri continued. “One of the best at the moment. I agree he has to win a trophy, [but] I hope not this. I think it is the same of course but Pochettino is in Tottenham for four years and I am here from six months.”I think that here in the first season it is really very difficult for everybody, for Pochettino, four years, for Klopp, four years, it was really very hard in the first season also for Guardiola so here it is really very difficult to build up a very good team. You need time.”
Dani Ceballos scored a late winning free-kick against his old club as Real Madrid battled to a 2-1 LaLiga victory at Real Betis.Madrid had taken an early lead at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday thanks to a fine drive scored by Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric.But Sergio Canales hit back with a goal that survived a lengthy VAR review to seemingly claim a point for Quique Setien’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Former Betis star Ceballos had other ideas, though, coming off the bench to net a 20-yard free-kick with two minutes to go to move Madrid up to fourth.Madrid started well and they took the lead in the 13th minute, Modric blasting a drive into the top-left corner from just outside the penalty area.Vinicius Junior fired straight at Pau Lopez at the end of a flowing move as Madrid kicked through the gears, Antonio Barragan making a wonderful challenge to halt another rapid break.Canales recorded the first Betis shot on target two minutes into the second half but Keylor Navas, deputising for the injured Thibaut Courtois, got everything behind the shot.Navas was beaten in the 67th minute, however, the impressive Giovani Lo Celso sending Canales clear of the Madrid defence to squeeze his shot through the goalkeeper and over the line.The goal was subject to a lengthy VAR review, giving the home fans an agonising wait, but replays showed Dani Carvajal was playing Canales onside and the goal stood.Solari ignored Isco as he used his last two subs to bring on Ceballos and Brahim Diaz for his LaLiga debut, with the decision justified in the 88th minute.William Carvalho gave away a free-kick on the edge of the Betis box and Ceballos took responsibility, bending the ball round the wall to beat Lopez.Super-sub Ceballos with a super free-kick winner! #RealBetisRealMadrid 1-2 pic.twitter.com/0hOAg8LyJF— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 13, 2019What does it mean? Injuries mount for struggling SolariMadrid, who are now 10 points back from leaders Barcelona, will hope an injury that forced Karim Benzema off at half-time is not too serious. Solari is already without forwards Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz, while Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio and Marcos Llorente were also absent.Ceballos justifies Solari faithBringing on Ceballos instead of Isco appeared a curious move and a decision Solari seemed certain to have to defend in his post-match news conference. But the former Betis midfielder settled the contest with a beautifully hit free-kick, earning Madrid an important three points.MATCHWINNER #RealBetisRealMadrid pic.twitter.com/pgv3vzUFXv— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 13, 2019Lopez wrongfooted by late winnerCeballos took his winning goal nicely but, when he sees replays of the strike, Betis goalkeeper Lopez will surely feel he should have done better. The placement of his wall appeared odd as Lopez seemed to leave himself unsighted, allowing Ceballos to place a fine finish into his goal.What’s next?Both sides are in Copa del Rey action, with Madrid heading to Leganes while Betis visit Real Sociedad. At the weekend, it’s Sevilla at home for Madrid and Betis host Girona. read more
Tata Martino rarely makes mistakes. You can see it in his record. At his previous, he won MLS Cup with Atlanta United. He’s three for three with Mexico after El Tri’s 3-1 victory over Venezuela on Wednesday. But sometimes the wiser a man, the more significant his errors. Martino has stepped in it with his choice to name only a 29-man provisional roster rather than the flush 40-man squad. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Edson Alvarez limped off the field early in Wednesday’s victory, grabbing at the same knee that kept the Club America defender/midfielder from helping Las Agilas during the Liguilla. He tried to stay in the game but eventually made way in the 31st minute. Martino now doesn’t have tough cuts to make. He has no cuts to make at all. Alvarez will stay on the roster unless a quick diagnosis is made. Obviously, the hope is the 21-year-old will be fine. He’s a valuable part of the national team, playing at the 2018 World Cup as a right back but now profiling as the defensive midfielder of the future for Martino. The links with teams in the Netherlands and even in the Premier League or La Liga make sense. This is a star on the rise. “Apart from what Edson means for the team and for the way the team works, it makes me sad that he could be out after a friendly match and after all the effort he put in to be there,” Martino told Univision. “Training, double sessions with the trainers, because he had a lot of desire to be part of the team. Unfortunately, we’ve taken care of him a lot in every training, even participating in reduced spaces, after when he was playing a really good game an unfortunate play happens and he falls again. “We’re going to wait and see. Apart from the football, where it’s obvious he’s not the player you want to lose, it worries me or, better said, it makes me sad that with the effort he made may not be rewarded.” If he isn’t fit, though, it’s a simple math problem. From the 29-man squad, Hirving Lozano and Miguel Layun were ruled out before the first flight. That makes 27. Marco Fabian and Ivan Rodriguez are unlikely to recover from ankle injuries in time for the tournament. That takes it down to 25. Mexico currently is carrying four goalkeepers. Cut one of them and you’re at 24. Alvarez, or anyone else, getting injured brings you to the 23-man max allowed at the competition. The manager did have his logic for calling up a limited group rather than filling out his squad. “If we included all the players who are out on the list, surely we would’ve gotten close to 40,” Martino said Tuesday in a pre-match news conference. “If we consider that those players could have been part of the 40 and we’d given the list of 40 like that, we would have run the risk of putting a player on the list that could be the 50th, and I don’t like to generate expectations in a player who normally has just a small chance of coming. “Today, including having made the decision we made with Diego Lainez and Jose Juan Macias, who played at the U-20 World Cup, and all the players who went to the U-22, I think it was the exact quantity of players we had to bring in because even with problems we still have, we’re covered in case Ivan or Marco can’t be there. Today, if we don’t have any inconveniences, we wouldn’t have to ask for any permission.” But that’s the whole point of the provisional roster. Martino was frustrated at the lack of communication from Jesus “Tecatito” Corona in March. The player was called in, then Martino heard from someone else that he wouldn’t be there. The manager is right to be bothered, even upset at the situation. But why can’t he open the same lines of communication. Is a player like Omar Govea or Jonathan Gonzalez not able to hear from Martino that the coach has him on the provisional roster but considers him to be a long shot for the Gold Cup? Are Victor Guzman or Isaac Brizuela not mature enough to be told they’re on the cusp but ultimately not in Martino’s plans? Heck, could he not have tossed Giovani dos Santos on the list, making clear to the player he would be called upon only in an absolute emergency? Gio at the Gold Cup may seem crazy, but having an “In case of emergency break glass here for warm-bodied attacker” wouldn’t be the worst option. Managers of every other Gold Cup team save Cuba have been having the same conversations with their fringe players. Why would it be any different for someone who has managed egos as large as the ones present at Barcelona? The victory Wednesday at least will help alleviate some of the worries heading into the tournament. El Tri now has beaten three quality South American teams in 2019. With Peru topping Costa Rica 1-0 Wednesday and Honduras drawing with a Paraguay team Mexico beat, the results show Mexico still should be the favorite to lift the Gold Cup. “Honestly, it helps us a lot, most of all with our confidence,” said Rodolfo Pizarro, who scored Mexico’s second goal. “We know that a lot of important players, unfortunately, have had to leave the national team because of decisions. Those who are here are here, and we have to give everything for the national team.” Martino may get a break with Alvarez being fit for the tournament. He may be able to lead Mexico to the Gold Cup title even with a shorthanded squad. If the results keep coming, we won’t remember who was on the provisional or that there seemed to be a depth crisis before the tournament. Yet, the veteran manager seems to have made a rookie mistake. He took an unnecessary risk in not putting more names on his list. It’s a risk that didn’t pay off.
Just as in 2016, Manchester United’s summer seems to have been dominated by the name of Paul Pogba.But whereas three years ago there was a heightened sense of anticipation over an impending world-record transfer, this time around there’s a feeling of foreboding over the Frenchman’s exit and the potential damage it could do along the way.The current stand-off sees Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola paving the way for a departure to Real Madrid or Juventus while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to convince everybody it’s business as usual. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare “As far as I’m aware, up to now we don’t have any bids for any of our players so there’s nothing to say other than Paul, like most of our players, have got long contracts. We’re Man Utd, we don’t have to sell players,” Solskjaer said in Perth on Wednesday at the beginning of the club’s pre-season tour.“Paul has never put himself out of the team, he’s always wanted to play, he’s always given his best. Agents talk all the time, but we’ve not had bids from any clubs and that’s all I can say about the matter.“It looks like it’s a media, I don’t want to call it a… it’s an agenda against Paul. He’s a top, top bloke, he’s a great, great professional, he’s never been any problem, he’s got a heart of gold.”Unfortunately for Solskjaer, that stance would only hold weight if Pogba himself hadn’t kicked off the frenzy by proclaiming he was ready for “a new challenge” at a promotional event in Japan in June. The France international knew exactly what he was doing, he knew the stir it would cause, he knew the difficulties it could create for his manager, and he went ahead and said what he said anyway. He wants a move, and the prospect of him staying diminishes with every moment he doesn’t step forward and commit to the Red Devils.And in terms of Solskjaer’s “no bids” claim, well that’s not really how the football market works anymore. Perhaps when he was a player there was still a culture of clubs having to make official approaches before any other movement was evident, but the likes of Raiola have helped to change the landscape in recent times and there is an increasing inevitability about the way this saga will end. Players hankering for a move very rarely fail to get their way in modern football.Since Pogba set the wheels in motion with his public request for a new challenge, Raiola has ensured that his client’s desires have remained at the forefront of everybody’s mind, most recently releasing a statement to talkSPORT on Tuesday.“Pogba has done nothing wrong, he has been respectful and professional in every way,” Raiola explained. “The club knows his feeling for a long time. It’s a shame other people only like to criticise him without the right information.“I’m sorry that the club does not take any position against this. Hopefully there will soon be a satisfying solution for all parties.”For now, there is an impasse. Solskjaer spent much of his first five months in charge insisting he wants to build his Manchester United squad around Pogba, seemingly leaving him red-faced and short of a figurehead in midfield if the World Cup-winner were to leave.But what the manager needs more is buy-in from his entire squad. Given the way he wants to do things at Old Trafford and the team mentality he wants to build, he can’t afford to have any egotistical players only thinking about themselves.Solskjaer has a vision which will rely on players respecting and representing the badge, and personal agendas do not fit in with that. The likes of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been added this summer exactly because they have the drive and hunger the Norwegian is looking to inject, and that cannot be compromised in order to satiate Pogba.To be fair to the 26-year-old, he could have been far less professional than he has been. Look no further than Brazilian superstar Neymar for an example of a high-profile player who has treated his club with contempt .After multiple acts of indiscipline over the last two years, Neymar’s own transfer request coincided with him not even attending pre-season training this week. The Brazilian will remain in his homeland for another week, despite PSG claiming he doesn’t have permission to do so.Antoine Griezmann – who wants to leave Atletico Madrid this summer – also failed to turn up to training despite famously labelling the team as “My fans, my club, my home” when rejecting a move to Barcelona last summer.Unlike Neymar and Griezmann, Pogba actually turned up for work when he was meant to. But that is a pretty low bar to be setting in terms of behavioural standards.What Pogba has done with his carefully-orchestrated media campaign is hand in a virtual transfer request. It basically leaves him with no way back into the hearts of Manchester United fans.Think of Wayne Rooney, who told Sir Alex Ferguson in 2010 that he wanted to move on and would do the same again in 2013 shortly before the legendary manager retired. Never again was the England striker viewed in quite the same way by United supporters.The widespread response to Pogba’s and Raiola’s summer shenanigans has begun to resemble fierce toxicity, and while it would be a blow to Solskjaer to lose arguably his only truly world-class star he cannot afford to carry passengers in his new project built around work ethic, guts and hunger. If Pogba doesn’t have the stomach for the fight at United, there is only one inevitable result.It is a path well-worn by successful sides of the past. Pep Guardiola’s first summer as a rookie Barcelona boss is remembered best for his decision to offload Ronaldinho and Deco having decided they were more trouble than they were worth. What followed was unprecedented success.He would repeat the dose over the next couple of years in shedding Samuel Eto’o and Yaya Toure, and achieving continuing success all the while. And while there is no instant path to glory in replacing top-level quality with hunger and desire, there is every reason to believe it is a model which United can succeed with too.Losing Pogba, a man who scored 16 goals last term and was the blisteringly-hot architect of United’s best run of form in years at the beginning of 2019, would undoubtedly be a step backwards.But if that’s what Solskjaer needs to inject some true Manchester United DNA into the rest of the squad and underline the standards expected of a United player, then in the long run there could be many more positives to be taken from this nonsense impasse. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Liverpool “missed the chance to win the title last season”, says El Hadji Diouf, with a former Reds star not expecting Jurgen Klopp’s side to challenge again in 2019-20.After 29 years of waiting, those at Anfield came agonisingly close to landing an elusive top-flight crown in 2018-19.Klopp’s men suffered just one league defeat all season, but that setback came at the hands of Manchester City and the Blues eventually scraped over the line by a solitary point. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The challenge facing Liverpool now is to replicate those efforts in the upcoming campaign and go one step further.Diouf is not convinced that they will be capable of doing that, with the outspoken Senegalese of the opinion that the Reds blew their big chance.He told The Mirror of a side that made amends for missing out on a domestic title by claiming Champions League glory: “They were very good last season. I don’t think they are going to be able to play like that this season.“They missed the chance to win the title last season, because you know in football every season is different, and if you look at the way they went all out for it last season it will be impossible for them to do it again this season.“That level they were last season was an unbelievable level and look at the way they lost it, with a point difference, so we have to be realistic to ourselves.“They have great competitors in City, and they’ve long been a team that has fought so hard for the title, so for me I maintain that Liverpool will not be able to produce that level of performance they did last season.”While questioning Liverpool’s ability to compete for major honours, Diouf is a big fan of two star turns on the books at Anfield.Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have become talismanic figures for the Reds, with a man who spent two seasons on Merseyside saying of two fellow African icons: “I think that both Mo and Mane are doing amazing and they are up there flying the flag for Africa.“The facts are there for everyone to see that at the moment they are two of the best players in the world and their contribution to Liverpool both domestically and continentally cannot be underrated.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: A UCF Knights helmet sits on the field after the UCF Knights defeated the Baylor Bears 52-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)One of the best quarterbacks in college football had a scary injury moment tonight. Here’s the latest on his status.McKenzie Milton, the star quarterback for the undefeated, No. 12-ranked UCF Knights team, went down with an injury against SMU tonight.The star quarterback was hit hard by a couple of defenders. He was checked out in the medical tent on the sideline and then made his way into the locker room.UCF fans are understandably nervous right now.McKenzie Milton after taking a big hit. This is every #UCF fans worst nightmare.— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) October 7, 2018McKenzie Milton left the game and went to the locker room in the second quarter. Was shaken up after getting hit by two defenders.— Ren Clayton (@Ren_Clayton) October 7, 2018Milton had thrown for 115 yards and 1 touchdown so far tonight. He’d rushed for 13 yards on 3 carries.UCF is currently beating SMU, 24-10. Stay tuned for more updates on Milton.
COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 24: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks up at the scoreboard in the third quarter after the Ohio State Buckeyes scored at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Michigan 62-39. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines had, arguably, the most-disappointing finish to the 2018 college football season.The Wolverines ended the regular season with a blowout loss at Ohio State, dropping out of the College Football Playoff race and missing out on a trip to the Big Ten Championship Game.Michigan went on to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where it got blown out by Florida.The Wolverines have finished the year with back-to-back blowout losses, ending the season at 10-3.What has to happen at Michigan moving forward?Harbaugh had a simple answer following his team’s blowout loss.“I think we’re going to take what we have and reload a new season and tighten up and keep working to put it over the top,” he told reporters.Harbaugh said that the 2018 season was a good one for Michigan, but the Wolverines need to get to a point where they’re having great seasons.“It was a very good season. It would have been a great season if we’d won this game, but we couldn’t get it done. My feeling about the team is we’re right there at the top. But we have to put it over the top, especially in the big games at the end of the year.”The 2019 season will be a massive one for Michigan. The Wolverines will get to play an Urban Meyer-less Ohio State team with several other Big Ten teams going through major changes. Harbaugh has to deliver on the biggest of stages.
“Brent Venables is a head coach, flat out. He’s in a better situation as a DC there than more than half the head jobs in the country, but he’s a head coach. He’ll have that next set ready.”But perhaps the highest praise was that Clemson had reached the point where they were “an SEC-caliber program” and “an Alabama-caliber school.”“What can you say? They’re a step-and-a-half past everyone else in the ACC. You can’t even call them an SEC-caliber program. They’re an Alabama-caliber school, a Georgia-caliber school. Literally. Coaches in our league have been talking about this for almost a decade now; we could see the money they were raising and spending and how it was translating. They’re a war machine.”Over the past four seasons the Clemson Tigers have become arguably the best program in college football. They’ve made four straight trips to the College Football Playoff, with three appearances in the national title game and two title victories – both over Alabama.It probably helps that Clemson has been able to feast on the relatively weaker ACC, but they’ve still beaten some terrific programs in the regular season.In the past five years, Clemson has beaten programs like Notre Dame, Auburn and Texas A&M in the regular season.Of course, they wouldn’t be able to win those titles without beating some elite teams in the College Football Playoff.Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma have all fallen to the Tigers on the biggest stage.Clemson looks like it will be a powerhouse for many years to come.You can read all of the ACC coaches’ anonymous quotes here. CLEMSON, SC – NOVEMBER 24: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers drops back to pass against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Last week, Athlon Sports managed to get some anonymous quotes from coaches in an effort to get honest opinions out of them. But when it came time to talk about ACC powerhouse Clemson, there were some interesting answers.Two factors appeared to stand out to coaches: That Clemson is incredibly well-run, and that quarterback Trevor Lawrence is elite.One coach said that Lawrence is already showing pro-level talent despite coming off a true freshman season.“Lawrence is smarter than he should be at this point in his career. He’s processing stuff like a pro.”Another pointed out that defensive coordinator Brent Venables is essentially a second head coach, and in a better situation than most head coaches.